Graphic Design: The Wordmark

Within the wordmark there can be a multitude of variations and styles. Fonts variations play a huge part in the ability to individualize logos with a similar font type. Typography is king when it comes to the base of what a Wordmark logo is comprised of. Knowing how and when you use it is crucial. The type of font selected says a lot about a brand presentation. Serif fonts carry a certain feel while san serif fonts tend to present a different look even with the same wording. The same can be said when script fonts are used. There could be a clean-lined handwritten font that will give an elegant look while rough lines will present a grunge like feel.

Color, kerning, case choice, letter spacing, weight and typeface are just a few of the parameters that can be adjusted to change the presentation. Sometimes simplicity is best and less is truly more so in these instance you will see a stylized font set as a logo representation.

There are many instances where the font type is not by selection of an actual font but a custom scripted or designed font or word type. These brands have had Wordmarks custom illustrated for the brand. This helps tremendously in in building brand recognition since the Wordmark “style” is unique to the brand.

Variations of font types can be stylized in many ways. Designers can use simple type and use many different design techniques that play into the presentation of a brand. Great examples will use negative space to make up some of the lettering or maybe incorporate subtle subliminal messages.

A great example of this messaging incorporated into the logo is Amazon. In the case of this corporate giant, the message was to have everything in stock from A to Z. You can cleary see this message on the face of this logo.

 

Another Great example is Fed Ex. Within the negative space of the FedEx logo you can clearly see an arrow between the capital E and the x, emphasizing delivery.

There are tons of examples out there of companies practicing this design strategy. This can be a very powerful delivery of a message of a brand when executed properly.

With Graphic Design in Melbourne FL and by following this information, you can also be on the right track to attracting your customers and becoming memorable. At The AD Leaf, we can create any design that any company would be proud of. For more information about our graphic design in Melbourne FL solutions, contact us today at info@theadleaf.com or give us a call at 321-255-0900.

How to Make Your Photos Pop for Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

1.8 billion photos are uploaded to the internet every single day!  In January 2019, according to Hootsuite, a social media marketing software company, there were 3.484 billion active social media users and they spent an average of three hours and seven minutes per day on social media!  That means the average social media user is bombarded countless photos and graphics each day! How are you going to make your photos stand out from the crowd and get engagement on your social media marketing platforms?

Here are five things that can help your photos garner attention:

 

FRAMING AND COMPOSITION

Social Media MarketingThe “rule of thirds” is a rule of thumb in the composition of visual images such as photography, graphic designs and painting.  It can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance of your images to make your design more engaging. The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they intersect.  You want to use the rule of thirds, both horizontally and vertically by placing  your subject in the right or left third of the photo–this stimulates the viewer to spend more time looking at your photo.  The idea is that an off-center composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame. It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject.

If your photo is of a landscape, avoid putting the horizon line in the middle of the photo because this tends to make the photo feel like it’s split in two.  Instead, place the horizon line along one of the horizontal lines of thirds. Make sure any focal point of the picture is placed at one of the points where the horizontal and vertical lines meet to serve as an “anchor” for the image.

If your picture is of a person, remember that the eyes are where we are naturally drawn to, so put the eyes level with one of the horizontal lines of thirds or at one of the points where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect to make a much more interesting photo and not a “mug shot” (where the subject is centered in the middle of the frame).

 

EFFECTIVE EDITING

There are a lot of filters available to use with the popularity of Photoshop and other photo editing tools.  Overall, photos with filters are 21% more likely to be looked at than non-filtered photos and 45% more likely to elicit comments.  But please don’t over use filters–remember, less is more! The filters most likely to boost images’ popularity are those that impose warm color temperature, boost contrast, and increase exposure.

Adding text, frames and emojis to your photographs increases engagement.  But again, use everything sparingly. A busy photo with too much going on will likely be scrolled past.  We highly recommend the Phonto photo editing app. It is a free mobile application that is user-friendly and easy to maneuver through.  It has more than four hundred fonts with changeable size, color, gradient and stroke color. You can also download your own fonts into the application.  You can crop the image, apply filters, add items and Phonto provides additional styling and tools to edit. Phonto can access your camera, camera roll or you can create a blank image and start adding different elements.

Facebook and Instagram have some great edits with filters, tags, cropping, text, stickers, doodles and emojis.  Both these social media marketing platforms give you lots of options to make your photo unique.

 

PUT A STORY BEHIND THE IMAGE

Draw the viewer in and keep them on your post longer by making your caption personal and appealing. Take your readers on a journey and tell them a story. Show them that you’ll help them overcome a challenge using your product.  Leveraging this type of storytelling is an effective copywriting tip that will help people relate to your product and better understand its value.

When you have a business, you need to reach out to as large an audience as possible. In order to do this, your content must connect with the masses. They need to feel that your brand is talking to them when they read it.

You don’t necessarily need to be cute, clever, or even a literary genius while writing content. You should write it in simple language. Try not to use complicated words that can make it difficult for a layman.

A majority of copywriting tips emphasize two things – improving readability and making it easier to understand.

Remember that each social media platform has limits on how much text you can use.  Keep these limits in mind when writing your captions and know that captions may have to be edited when you move between social platforms

 

CAMERA PHONE BASICS

Mobile phone photography can seem daunting, but following these simple tricks will elevate your photos:

  • Clean the lens before taking a picture.  Our phones are handled by us all day, thrown in  our purses or backpacks and set down on many surfaces.  As a result, they are covered in fingerprints, dirt, and dust.  Take the time to clean the lens with a soft, clean dry cloth.
  • Turn off HDR (High Dynamic Range) option on your phone–this tends to make photos look overdone and less appealing.
  • Don’t rely on Autofocus. Phones use passive auto-focus with contrast measurement. This means that the camera needs contrast to focus and have problems focusing on a blank wall or in low light conditions. It’s better to turn off Autofocus and take the extra time to make sure your shot is not blurry by keeping your phone steady.  The best thing is to use a tripod made for your phone.  If you don’t have a tripod, here are a few tricks for keeping your phone steady:  rest your phone on a solid surface, such as a wall or rock. Hold your phone with both hands, making sure you have a good tight grip.  Lean against a wall or tree to steady your body. Position your elbows against your body to keep your arms steady. Crouch down, and rest your phone on your knee.  
  • Avoid using the flash–oversaturation is a big problem with most photos.  Instead set the brightness on your camera before you take the picture.
  • If you are taking a photo of a person, shoot in portrait mode to create gorgeous blurred backgrounds and make the portrait appear sharp.
  • Experiment with different perspectives to get more interesting shots.  Most photos are taken from chest height while standing. Get down on your knees, hold the camera above your head or lay down and shoot straight up.  Or shoot through a “frame” such as a doorway, arch or window.  
  • Simplify your compositions for the most striking shots.The best photos are often the most simple ones. If the photo is busy, the user won’t know where to focus his attention. So, always aim to simplify by including only one subject in the photo and ensuring the background is not too busy or distracting.

By following these guidelines, you will insure that your social media images will get the attention and engagement we all want–happy posting! 

We have a staff of trained social media marketing professionals to help you improve your social media posts! Even better, we’ll help your business get the exposure it needs on all social media platforms. Give us a call at 321-255-0900 to schedule an appointment with us. 

Differences In Brand Identity

In the world of graphic design in Melbourne FL, brand Identity the first identifying factor of any company is the logo. Logo design and design services tend to exercise different development strategies, but the result is always going to be one of 3 styles of brand.

  • An Icon or emblem
  • Wordmark
  • Combination of both

Logo

A logo may consist of just an Emblem / Icon, A wordmark or both. Your logo should encompass every essence of your business. It should evoke a certain “feeling” to an individual at a glance when done correctly. The logo is the face of an organization and it must almost have an unspoken voice and a lot to say with just visual presentation.

Graphic Design in Melbourne FL

Wordmark

A Wordmark is an element of a logo or may be a logo itself. The makeup of a work mark is just that, words. Stylized, but just words. You see wordmarks everywhere and some of the biggest corporations such as Canon and Google use just that, Stylized lettering. However, lacking in aesthetic feel brands such as these they maintain visual identity based on the company size.

Stylizing fonts may include using variations such as bold or script fonts. Some may even be handwritten not using a font set but a custom font such as Sharpie or Disney.

This would still be a Stylized Font to makeup a wordmark.

Graphic Design in Melbourne FLThe Emblem / Icon

An emblem can be an element of a developed logo that signifies an important element and summarizes the essence of the brand. This simple element can quickly be used to designate the presence of the brand without having to display the entire brand or logo.

When you see the Golden Arches you immediately think McDonald’s even if the words are not visibly displayed, the brand itself is recognized by the emblem. In the same fashion when you see the swoosh you jump to Nike, again without having to display the entire logo.

This is not the case with all brand expression. It takes a great feat for a company to reach a level of recognition in which they could drop the wordmark and be recognized.

However, there are marketing strategies that brand just the icon in a mystique an approach in stirring up curiosity. In those cases, the icon is used to promote the campaign and drive the company idea.

Graphic Design in Melbourne FL

 

With Graphic Design in Melbourne FL and by following this information, you can also be on the right track to attracting your customers and becoming memorable. At The AD Leaf, we can create any design that any company would be proud of. For more information about our graphic design in Melbourne FL solutions, contact us today at info@theadleaf.com or give us a call at 321-255-0900.

Vector VS Raster

Graphic Design in Melbourne FL

In the world of design, just like any craft, Knowing what you’re working with will help you determine the best path to take when tackling a project. It may also save time and money when making the decision to use the right tool for the right job or in the case of this article, the right format for the right job.

Vector Art

Vector art, which are made of lines and curves known as paths, are composed of data and mathematical theory. Vector art is generally created with a software program. Within this program, start point curves and nodes are created using a variety of tools within the program to assign not only shape by anchor point and lines but you can also assign color to the stroke or fill. Any of the lines and curves in the image can be assigned a color value. Because the artwork is all data, it can be scaled infinitely without losing assigned detail or begin to look pixelated.

You can easily spot a vector art file as the edges are consistently crisp. No matter how large you make it or how close you zoom in, the edges will always appear sharp and smooth.

Another advantage of vector art is file size. Vector art contains no pixel data and does not have to hold the information of the entire workspace. It is due to this that vector art is generally smaller than raster art. Because it is line art the only information that the files hold are “coordinates” of where lines start and stop and what color attributes are contained on the stroke or the fill.

The flexibility of being able to be transposed into other formats is one of the reasons that designers prefer vector art when designing logos and other supporting elements. This will allow ease when transposing and scaling the graphic elements from vector source to final design piece.

Commonly used vector file types include but are not limited to: AI – Adobe Illustrator, EPS – Encapsulated post script and SVG -Scalable Vector Graphic.

There are a number of computer programs that can create and manipulate these files for use, and some have a custom extension for the file relative to the program. i.e. Corel Draw will create a .CDR file and although it is a vector file it is possible that you may need to export it to a different format in order to open or import into a different program. It is critical that you save as or export to a compatible file type when importing it into a different program.

Raster art

Raster images are often recognized as a bitmap image. This file type contains data that is composed on a grid. Within the grid there are squares that are filled with a specified color. The higher the resolution the more “squares” within a grid that are assigned color, hence more detail. This factor is commonly known as DPI (dots per inch) and/or PPI (pixels per inch).

Higher resolution means more detail and more data that has to be stored in order to render the image.

Photography is a good example of when raster art is exclusively used.

When you take a picture with a digital camera, what is rendered is a copy of the image data that is seen through the lens. The file that is created is pixel data on a grid that contains millions of squares assigned a color formula and collectively make up the image.

Conclusion

Starting with the correct file type will prevent you having to possibly rework the file at a later time. Evaluate the project in its full scope to gain an understating on the best way to compose your file.

Logos and illustrations are highly repurposed in a graphic campaign, therefore a vector format is the recommended file type. Photography, highly detailed images and background images are commonly raster format due to the ability maintain color data.

With Graphic Design in Melbourne FL and by following this information, you can also be on the right track to attracting your customers and becoming memorable. At The AD Leaf, we can create any design that any company would be proud of. For more information about our graphic design in Melbourne FL solutions, contact us today at info@theadleaf.com or give us a call at 321-255-0900.

Graphic Design: Hand lettering

Graphic Design in Melbourne FL

When most people think of graphic design in Melbourne FL, they think about keeping up on current trends, thousands of dollars in high-end graphics cards for super monster computers, not to mention the years and years of schooling it normally takes just to learn to be proficient in the graphic programs to hopefully, possibly, one day make a decent living doing what they love.

Just like with almost anything in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, if it seems too complicated, there just might be a better way… Well, there is.

Remember when we were little kids, we would spend aimlessly for hours with construction paper and big fat markers just making random circles, shapes, and maybe even signing your name repeatedly because you have no idea, you might be a famous artist one day and you will have to sign a lot of autographs.

Well, that child sitting on their bed with those dollar store markers and construction paper at this stage is closer to a lucrative career as a graphic designer than the few who believe that just by having the new Wacom – Cintiq Pro 24 Creative Pen and Touch Display, for the low price of 2850.00 will get their graphics game to the next level. It’s the artist not the paintbrush, or in this case the marker. So we are going to dive a little bit onto hand lettering and other lower-tech disciplines.

Calligraphy, hand lettering, and typography are the terms designers use to differentiate styles of the same thing, attractive lettering.

Calligraphy is a discipline like none other, hours and hours of writing letters in a specific way that demands close and unbroken attention to eventually build up a muscle memory that will allow you to convey themes and emotions through the simply the alphabet. This skill is rare and therefore always in very high demand.

Hand lettering, as with all art requires discipline, however, it’s an adjacent kind of discipline to calligraphy. Calligraphy demands strict light upstrokes and dramatic thick down strokes were in hand lettering it is more like whimsically drawing the letters as opposed to formally writing them. In the last two to three years hand lettering has virtually exploded on the scene from quotes, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and just anything else you can simply write and want to convey a sense of fun and whimsy while still being legible and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Most companies that have hired hand lettering artists pay very well for the skill that the artist has spent years cultivating.

Typography is an art solely on how you spread, change, resize, adjust the spaces between the letters, or the weight of the letters in a fun, dynamic, and interesting way to have the meaning of the words to come across with simply a typeface or font. This skill is critical for logos, once the logo is established, then the trademark can be created and you are then well on your way to a full brand. This is used heavily in advertising when attempting to convey a meaning. You will see this used well with motivational quotes on social media pages such as Pinterest or Instagram.

Type designers create the fonts in a way that when used together, in most cases, are seamlessly legible or bold. The best example of this is every word currently on your screen at this very moment. Every letter on this screen was meticulously constructed for the use of reading large amounts of these letters in a page and not be distracting or hard to read. It is not uncommon for the wrong font to be used on a paper and that paper can give the reader a headache or even feel ill. On a similar note, when using a bold font that is distractingly ornate people lose interest in the paper simply because the psychology of the font clashed with their interest of the subject matter.

No matter what font you read through, it was designed painfully and thoughtfully by a type designer to convey an emotion or to not distract from the meaning of the words used. The best type designers can help convey meaning with the look and style. Type designers make the fonts, graphic designers utilize topography and know how to use the font.

If you go this route as a designer and learn the programs needed to create the fonts the fonts can be placed on anyone, or all of the thousands of sites that sell fonts and this asset it only for the right to use it, you can sell the same font over and over again creating an amazingly fun passive income to fuel your future endeavors. Now that is fantastic for that kid sitting on their bed with some big markers and big dreams.

 

With Graphic Design in Melbourne FL and by following this information, you can also be on the right track to attracting your customers and becoming memorable. At The AD Leaf, we can create any design that any company would be proud of. For more information about our graphic design in Melbourne FL solutions, contact us today at info@theadleaf.com or give us a call at 321-255-0900.

Top 3 Problems that Graphic Design and Good Branding can help Solve for your Business.

Graphic Design Melbourne FL

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW!
Wow is the one to aim for.”
Milton Glaser

Time
The old wives’ tale that time is money has never been so true when you are talking about running or owning a small business. You find yourself constantly looking for ways that you can save time.
Graphic Design Melbourne FL and Good Branding can help save you this time. If you have prospective clients reaching out and asking what your services are, you should automatically know that you might have a problem with your presentation and graphic design Melbourne FL. For example, when you first look at the Portland Trailblazers logo you might be a bit taken back. Their name implies “trailblazer” (a type of horse) but their logo doesn’t look anything like a horse. Although the actually meaning behind the logo is significant, it implies five players on one side, playing or interacting with five players on the other side, it unfortunately doesn’t read easily, and can be quite confusing. Having a logo with meaning behind it is always great, but does it also let consumers know who you are and what you do. When you combine both of these aspects you are on the right path to saving time and getting right down to the fun part, business.

Standing Out From your Competitors
Starting or running your own small business can be very exciting and terribly scary at the same time. Whether you are selling goods or providing services, the most important thing you will need no matter what you do is customers/clients. Do you own a plumbing company, but are also in competition with fifteen other plumbing companies in your local area? What about your business is going to make the prospective client call you, instead of someone else? Standing out from your competitors when you are in a saturated market can be very difficult. If we dive deeper into plumbing companies, most consumers never think twice about plumbing until they actually need a plumber then they tend to call the plumber in their area that they recognize. Recognition is the first step in standing out. Does your overall “look” go across all of your marketing platforms. Are you consistent?

Becoming and/or Being Memorable
You are now at the point in your business “life” where you have clients, but you are now looking for those clients or customers to come back. Is your business memorable? Is your logo memorable? Some might say that your great customer service will continue to bring customers back, but can you solely rely on this? When you think of a great coffee shop, most consumers tend to think of Starbucks. They not only have great customers service and amazing coffee, but they are recognizable across the United Stated and the world, they are consistent and memorable. Now that you have the “recognition” part of your business down, you can start working on the consistency. Road trips are one of my favorite past times, I love to travel. While traveling, I am normally looking to stay awake, I correlate staying awake with coffee. While traveling the only symbol that I look for on the interstate is the Starbucks logo. I don’t even need the “Starbucks” typography written below it. I know the logo because they are consistent, when I see it, I recognize it right away. I know who they are, what they sell, and that they have great coffee, and who doesn’t like great coffee.

With Graphic Design Melbourne FL and Good Branding, you can also be on the right track to attracting your customers and becoming memorable. With these three problems solved for your business you can now focus on the task at hand, running your business. At The AD Leaf, we can create any design that any company would be proud of. For more information about our graphic design Melbourne FL solutions, contact us today at info@theadleaf.com or give us a call at 321-255-0900.

The Pitfalls of A Bad Logo Design

Bad Logo Design

A good trademark is either cancer or a cure. A bad logo design can simply destroy or flourish your business. Everyone has a face and that face whether it’s fair or not, is the first step to gaining trust. So we shave, cleanse, and smile to put our best foot forward so that we can build loving trusting relationships. The same should be brought into your business utilizing graphic design. However, what exactly is a logo and or trademark? Who will be best to bring a face to your company? In the end is the process monetarily it worth it. No matter how big or successful your company is, I assure you, nothing is more expensive than a bad logo.

What comes to mind when I say, Nike? The Swoosh. What comes to mind when I say McDonald’s? The golden arches. Even though I stated the singular name of the company you unconsciously accepted both a trademark and a logo. As in the case of NIKE’s branding, the Swoosh is the trademark and the lettering/typeface is the actual logo. The logo comes from the ancient Greek ‘Logos’ meaning word. As you can see in our modern society the two have become almost interchangeable.

Many people, to their detriment, regard the logo as secondary in nature to the running of the business itself. They have an image in their mind of something they feel would properly represent themselves as an entity. A graphic designer takes the good intentions of the client and makes that message palatable and inviting across all platforms. Building trustworthy relationships between, not just Client and Designer, but Client and their consumers. You will always be able to find an illustrator to create what you have in your head. However until you trust a real designer to get into your head to find the true motivation, direction, and audience behind the company, you might never see your businesses true value and highest potential.

A poorly rebranded logo or even a bad logo design can simply destroy a company, just as a poor logo from the beginning will assure a swift end to many, if not, most businesses. As a business owner hiring the right designer or the right agency to market you might seem expensive and overwhelming. What I tell my clients is since their head is in the money space, let’s talk money. Right now, if you have a poor logo that doesn’t properly convey the value of your business, everything your logo touches is a waste of money, and worse being used against you. Your bad logo design/trademark goes on every product, bag, email campaign, and social media post will execute the opposite of your goals. It would be akin to funding your competitors. Most people in this case with little to no understanding of the issue, believe they just need to be put more in the spotlight so they throw even money at the problem not realizing they are plastering the problem to everyone on everything speeding up the demise of their company. Before you know it, your advertising budget is gone, your clients are scarce, and your dream is over.

No matter how big or successful your company is, I assure you, nothing is more expensive than a bad logo design. A logo or a trademark that is simple, elegant, and clearly projects the full spectrum of the value you provide is an investment that will allow you to focus and scale beyond your goals and not hinder you to the pages lost in chapter 11. You need to run your business with the help of a seasoned graphic designer. In conclusion, if you are an entrepreneur, you need someone in the design business who understand the business of design.

At The AD Leaf can help turn a bad logo design into a design any company would be proud of. For more information about our graphic design solutions, contact us today at info@theadleaf.com or give us a call at 321-255-0900.